Joe Flacco Quietly Has Historic Game

Joe Flacco walked out of the media room following his post-game press conference Sunday, and a handful of reporters shuffled past him to get inside.

They wanted to hear from veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., who was the clear star of the game against his former team. Flacco seemed like a small part of the story on a day where Smith was the headliner.

In reality, however, Flacco was a big part of the reason Smith had such an impressive game. Smith stole the show, but Flacco had quietly just played one of the best games of his career in the Ravens' commanding 38-10 victory over Carolina.

"Joe played phenomenally well," Head Coach John Harbaugh said "The stats will all say it, but beyond that, the way he operated, he got us in some really good runs, away from some of the pressures."

Flacco set a Ravens franchise record with a 137.4 quarterback rating in the victory. He also completed 22 of his 31 passes for 327 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.

He picked apart Carolina's defense, putting passes on the money and spreading the ball around to seven different targets. The Ravens finished the game by converting on 10 of their 13 third downs, and punted just once."

"Joe got the ball out and made some great throws under pressure and converted some third downs, and we made them pay when they pressured us, by running away from them," Harbaugh said. "It was a good effort all around that way."

The numbers spoke for themselves, but after watching tape of the game,Harbaugh was equally as impressed with the effort from his quarterback.

"He minimized the downside in so many situations – whether it was being pressured or whatever – he did not have a downsided play the entire game," Harbaugh said. "Could he have read two or three plays better? That's everybody. Of course. But there were no downsided plays, and he made plays."

Flacco's impressive afternoon against the Panthers continued his strong start under new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak. The Ravens currently rank sixth in the NFL in total yards per game (394.2), and Flacco is now on pace for the best season of his career.

If Flacco and the offense keep up this pace, then he'll top 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his six years in the NFL.

"We did a great job," Flacco said. "We kept our focus all day, and that's why we went out there and were able to play the way we were for 60 minutes."

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